Langley Community Services Society (LCSS) is preparing for an Organizing Against Racism and Hate forum happening next week.
“It is a forum to bring together community stakeholders and leaders to discuss the really quick change in demographics in both Township and City of immigrants, refugees and refugee claimants,” explained Mary Tanielian, a organizer with LCSS.
The last available Census data collected is from 2015, so Tanielian believes there is work to be done to identify the needs of the community as it is seen today.
In the last Census period (between 2011 to 2016) the immigrant population grew by about 15 per cent in Langley City and about 21 per cent in the Township of Langley, according to data provided by the LCSS.
But Tanielian believes those numbers don’t reflect today’s demographic.
“We’ve seen a huge spike in [newcomers in] the last three years, yet stats don’t really reflect that because as you know, Census doesn’t start back up again until 2020,” she said. “That’s a long time to have no stats for five years.”
On March 11 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. invited community members – including both Langley City mayor Val van den Broek and Township mayor Jack Froese – will meet at the Langley Golf and Banquet Centre to learn and discuss the needs of the Langleys.
“We want to see what is the need in the Langleys, in terms of integrating, making people feel welcome, inclusive [and] support,” Tanielian said.
The forum is a response to indirect reports of racism and hate the LCSS has learned.
“Unfortunately it is out there so we want to hear from all the community members, organizations to see what are they hearing from their constituents, their members, their staff, their clients to see if and what we do moving forward,” she said.
A report will be made available to the community two to three weeks after the forum takes place, Tanielian noted. Those interested in reading the report can contact the LCSS for a copy.